First of all, I would like to thank Cate at Sweetnicks for naming me as the "New (to her) Blogger on the Block" on Friday. Hopefully there are some new people reading this site, and so I welcome you and encourage you to leave a comment and tell me what you think!
In honor of Cate's distinction, I made her (by way of Giada DeLaurentis) Lasagna Rolls for dinner tonight. Rolling up the divine little parcels is slightly labor intensive, but worth every bit of work. They were rich and comforting, and I think the leftovers will still be delicious. I only had 8 lasagna noodles, so I just overstuffed them, and one turned out to be enough for each of our dinner guests. This is a winner of a meal.
for the bechamel sauce:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 tsp all-purpose flour
1.25 cups whole milk
.25 tsp salt
pinch freshly ground pepper
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Make this sauce while the lasagna noodles are boiling. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 3 minutes (this will eliminate any uncooked-flour taste in your sauce). Whisk in the milk and increase heat to medium-high. Continue whisking until the sauce begins to simmer and is thick and smooth, roughly 3 minutes. Whisk in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
for the lasgana rolls:
1 15-oz. container whole milk ricotta
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
3 oz. prosciutto, chopped (I used hot capocollo instead)
1 large egg, beaten
.75 tsp salt, plus more for salting pasta water
.5 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
12 uncooked lasagna noodles (again, I used 8)
2 cups marinara (you can use jarred sauce)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil and cook lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain; arrange the noodles in a single layer on a baking rack to prevent sticking.
In a medium bowl, combine spinach, 1 cup parmesan, prosciutto, egg, salt, and pepper well with a wooden spoon.
Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish (I used a smaller dish). Pour the bechamel sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Lay out 4 lasagna noodles on a work surface, then spread about 3 heaping Tbsp. of the ricotta mixture evenly over each noodle. Starting at one end, roll up each noodle. Place the rolls seam side down, close together but not touching, on top of the bechamel sauce. Repeat with remaining noodles. Spoon 1 cup of the marinara over the rolls, then sprinkle the mozzarella and remaining parmesan over the top.
Cover tightly with foil and bake until heated through and sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake until the cheese is golden, another 15 minutes or so. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Heat the remaining marinara in a small sauce pan and serve the warm sauce alongside the rolls. Great with a big chopped salad and a glass of wine, and a total crowd pleaser--I will definitely make these again!